tv Meet the Press MSNBC December 1, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PST
this sunday, the race to fix the president's health care plan takes on new urgency as a key deadline is reached. >> there are thousands of people every single day who are getting health care for the first time. and by the way, the website is continually working better, so check it out. >> but is it working as well as it should be? with president obama's promises to fix healthcare.gov, will the website be fixed well enough to handle the millions of people that could sign up this month? and what will be the impact of obama care on the 2014 elections, and even perhaps the 2016 presidential race? plus, an historic week for pope francis with his first major statement, attacking what he calls, quote, the idolatry of
money. what continues is a whirlwind change for the vatican. i'll go one on one with cardinal timothy dolan of new york. he is one of the leading cardinals in america. he talks about why the church has turned against obama care and why the church has been outmarketed on gay marriage. nbc correspondent harry smith with the story of the survivor of the boston marathon bombing. he represents the true meaning of boston strong. i'm david gregory onand this is "meet the press" on sunday, december 1st. good sunday morning. a big weekend for the future of president obama's landmark health care legislation, two months to the day since the troubled launch of heal
healthcare.gov, they put out a report this morning saying they're making dramatic progress and the team is meeting with private sector velocity and effectiveness. that's how the website apparently is working. it also says the site's capacity has been expanded to handle 50,000 users at once along with improved response times and decreased error rates. but the obama administration has downplayed expectations in the past week saying the man could actually outweigh capacity, and today's report indicates there is still more work to be done. the real test lies ahead when millions of uninsured americans could try to enroll by an initial december 23rd deadline. we have mike rogers of michigan. he also sits on the on us and commerce committee over the jurisdiction of health and human services. welcome to both of you and welcome to "meet the press
"snoochlt. >> just your reaction to this report. dramatic progress, private sector-like velocity. the promise was for the website to be fully functioning by now. are you satisfied? >> overstated. have they made some progress and they brought in some folks to try to bring the functionality up. it still doesn't function right. their own cio said he believed that if they had the ability to get up to 80% functionality, that would be a good day for them. so, a, the functionality is right. here's a part of this discussion that nobody talks about. the security of this site and the private information does not meet even the minimal standards of the private sector, and that concerns me. i don't care if you're for it or against it, republican or democrat, we should not tolerate the sheer level of incompetence
securing this site. but the hub accesses would expose the people's information which is bad. >> congressman van hollen, the claims being what they are today still indicate a truth. the washington editorial points it out this morning that while progress has been made, the site is still not today where it was supposed to be two months ago. and yet the promise is to be fully functioning. are you satisfied? >> well, david, the administration has hit the big benchmarks they set out, right? 50,000 people at one time, 80,000 people in one day. this is going to take some time before it's up and kicking in full gear. i think what we have to look at is those states where you have well functioning web sites like california, like new york, like kentucky. all of them are signing people up. all of them have a good mix of people -- >> but your own state site not furn functioning very well. >> maryland is a mess. there is no doubt about it.
the question is are we going to work together to fix those problems, and there will be additional problems, or are we going to do what the republicans want to do, continue to sabotage the entire effort, even though they don't have an alternative. yes, we should continue to fix it every day. the underlying concept is good. >> congressman rogers indicates this is also where the president is going to go. he's going to go on the offensive. he's going to argue that republicans are trying to sabotage this instead of getting it right, that they have no ideas of their own. is that what's going to help improvements here to people? >> this is unprecedented con physician indication of people's health care. here's what i think they're missing. they're trying to make this a political fight. when you have someone who just lost their insurance, and there are millions of people who got cancellation notices, and the next go-round on the business side is 80 to 100 people will get cancellation notices. here's why i think they're
missing the boat on trying to make this a political fight between democrats and republicans. a guy grabbed me the other day whose wife is expecting a baby end of december. they got a cancellation notice. if she has the baby in january, he is absolutely apoplectic about how to pay for it. if she has the baby in december, there is no compassion in that. this is happening hundreds of thousands of times all across the country. they're getting ready to close high-risk pools that have cancer survivors, people who are trying to fight cancer are getting thrown out of their high-risk pools at the end of this year. as a cancer survivor, you want your whole focus to be on beating the disease. they're making a horrible mistake by trying to meet this when real people are are getting hurt. >> there are people who will get insurance who never had insurance, and you have a small piece of the market who may lose plans. many of those may get better plans. you made your argument. here's the bottom line question which goes to, will this be
fixed? look at this poll back on november 18 to the 20th. will current problems facing the new health care law be solved? 54% do believe it will be solved. that's a level of credibility and belief in the system that presumably is very important. but let me ask you, congressman van hollen, we have seen delays in the still of the night. here are some of the headlines. the wednesday before thanksgiving now saying small businesses will have extra time before they can actually start signing up for health care benefits. should the individual mandate be delayed? this is the big part of health care. should that be delayed if you want this to work as well as it can? >> as you know, they already moved the deadline twice. they moved it to the end of march for the original mandate. we've extended this to december 23rd for people to sign up. we need to adapt. we need to make sure we address problems as they come up and try to work on them on a bipartisan basis. mike says it's not political. in my pocket, eric cantor issued
this playbook against obama care the other day. they're not trying to work with us on these issues. yes, there are problems, there's no denying that. let's work to fix them. we know when it's fixed it looks like california, it looks like new york, it looks like kentucky. >> you're not saying it's the president's job to execute, right? this is his president's idea and it's his responsibility to execute, the federal government's responsibility to execute. >> no doubt about that. you have a lot of groups out there running ads telling people not to sign up. you have efforts tonavigators, trying to sign up. democrats worked with republicans to get the job done. >> should the original mandate be delayed if that's what it takes to get the program right? >> as of today, no. if you can't sign up, but right now, it looks like we're making
progress. >> congressman van hollen, it's really important if the original mandate should be delayed. >> you're punishing these people. the number one reason people didn't have insurance was cost. what this has done is increase cost. so, again, they're making it political. as a matter of fact, they tried to get people to talk about politics at the thanksgiving table by talking about the president's health care law, and at their own family table. if that isn't political, i don't know what is. here's the problem. you have 15% of the population didn't have health insurance when this started, roughly. we think that number was high, closer to 10. what they've done is disrupt it for the 85% who had health care, and their costs are going up significantly. so we've broken the system to help a few. nobody would fix a problem that way. and think of the people who are going through all of the anguish today for getting that pink slip on their medical insurance who have cancer, who have a wife that's pregnant. those folks are absolutely
apoplectic. that's why i think it's crazy to say if we just tweak it a little bit, we'll take care of the problem. these are real life problems, and these folks are already having a hard time in the economy, and their health care insurance is going up and they have to figure out how to get it. >> he just put out so much misinformation in two seconds that he can't answer. the reality is it hasn't messed up 80% of the market. the original market, which has already been broken, represents 5% of the market. a lot of those people were losing their health care on an annual basis before. we're trying to fix that. all the information about compromising your personal data, one of the great things about the affordable care act is we're not dealing with preexisting conditions. >> we're not going to settle this here and now. we're out of time, but obviously this gives you some indication to our viewers about where this debate is and how political it will remain as we move ahead perhaps into the new year. congressman rogers, congressman van hollen, thank you very much.
let's get a reality check. i want to turn to dr. ezequiel emanuel. welcome to both of you. the reality test. here's the report saying dramatic progress, substantial progress, more work to do. you wrote in an op-ed some weeks ago that this is the time. this thanksgiving weekend, the deadline is here. is it good enough progress? >> i think it's good enough progress. clearly, just like google and facebook and all the internet sites are constantly tweaking their sites, constantly improving them. this one still has a way to go. but it certainly is working reasonably well, i, in particular, want to shop and compare. the white house said it will improve either late tonight or tomorrow to the key area where people can see what's available, what the prices are. it's not working that well, but
they're promising to have it improved. i think we are going the right direction, and for the first time, most importantly, we actually have effective management overseeing. we have an integrater who is over it. >> do they have enough young people to go and actually sign up? >> there are three things to getting folks to sign up. on the one hand, sir subsidies. the congress said one of the reasons they don't sign up is cost. they're going to get hundreds and trillions of dollars in the market for subsidy. that's the reason they'll go in and be part of it. another piece of it is the individual mandate. you guys were talking about this a couple moments ago, but at the end of this year, you're going to be paying a percentage of kwo your income if you don't sign up for health insurance. that gets them in the market, too. the other thing that hasn't launched yet, but a couple months ago before the obama
administration believed that the fall would be all about it not working, they thought it would be about a massive outreach effort they were going to launch usingmayors, using governors, trying to get their mothers involved to get folks to sign up, by getting trusted valuable dar -- validaters to talk about it. >> in california the website is working and up, and there the portion of kids signing up is a portion of the population. so it does look like we are going to have enough if you have that data point. and if we can get the word out, we'll get enough young people. >> when you hear the politicians that were just talking, and you hear the political debate, a lot of viewers have to be hearing that saying, what about the bottom? when is this actually going to get solved? >> the website no doubt is going to get solved.
tae that's a technical problem. >> there are other tests down the road. >> of course, there are other tests down the road. in the long run, in the next few years and end of the decade, this is going to have dramatic improvement. you'll have competition in the exchangers. we're already keeping costs down and will keep them down further. you have improvements in the health care system. hospitals have to work on infections, readmissions. >> but there is a more pessimistic case, which could be what? >> the more pessimistic case would be you have insurance moving to the exchanges. the funny thing about this debate is republicans believe that over time would be great. all of their plans, including paul ryan's 2010 plan, was about breaking down the base and moving people over. one of the things frustrating about this debate is we've gone to a place in politics where we've refused to accept the fact of this reform. the individual market is a place where the recent prices are what
they are as we discriminate against the sick and the old and women and people who can't read the fine print of insurance. we are fixing that and it's going to be important that we fix it. it doesn't mean no one will have a tough time in the changeover, and we need to help those folks, but we also need to recognize if we're going to make things better, there is a process of difficulty to do that. >> i'm out of time, but this is really where i think the administration wants to argue the plus side that you've already seen on the affordable care act and argue the real peril of the status quo. i have to leave it there. but thank you both for being here. we're going to come back and talk a little about the catholic church. why the church has turned against the president's health care plan. we'll be back with my interview with cardinal timothy dolan, the archbishop of new york. >> mr. president,
we're back on a sunday morning now to pope francis and his drive for change in the catholic church. this is the latest example called the joy of the gospel. in his first major policy gospel released this week, the pope slams economic inequality and calls on the rich to share their wealth. he's becoming the first non-european pontiff this last march, he has broken many deals of his predecessors, but what does the pope think about
controversial issues such as obama care, gay marriage and abortion? before the pope's manifesto, i spoke one on one with one of the most influential triggers of the united states, cardinal timothy dolan, archbishop of new york. >> welcome to "meet the press." >> thank you, david. happy thanksgiving. you bet. >> i want to talk about some faith, some politics, but let's start with the church. what a remarkable year it's been with pope francis and the pope francis effect. his humanity has touched people the world over, not just catholics, and has made him an internet sensation, among other things. how do you describe this francis effect on the church, and as i say, on humanity more broadly? >> all i know, david, i thank god for it, that's for sure, and i see it every day. i can't walk down the streets of new york, which i do a lot, without people stopping me and saying, cardinal, i'm not even a catholic, i'm not even a believer, but i love pope
francis and thanks a lot for voting for him. because they love him. you put the finger on it when you spoke about his humanity. his sincerity, his complicity, his generosity, his hilarity. i think jesus is coming to us as catholics and humanity of the world through pope francis. >> the church doctrine remains the same, but you have described it as a change of tone. >> i would say a change of tone, a change of strategy. a pope by his nature cannot make doctrinal changes. he can make a lot of changes in the way, the style, the manner in which it's presented. you know the best analogy of that? john xxiii. by the way, they're saying pope
francis reminds them of john xxiii. he was pope in 1953. but he can do it in a way that makes it more radiant. >> could it get confusing if you do that? >> it could, but one of the appeals of francis is we have to take some risks. if we're just timid and afraid and afraid to go out and engage people and meet people and take some chances in presenting the faith, we're going to shrivel up and die. >> but he said we can't worry about birth control and abortion, that we worry too much about those issues. is that a problem for you, that he believes that? >> that he would say that? >> no, not at all. i gave him a standing ovation when he said that. most of the time i say, i don't know that it's so much the church obsessed with that, it's
the world obsessed with those things. they're always asking us about it. i look at myself, david, in my almost 37 years as a priest. rare would be the times that i preached about those issues. so francis is right. he's saying first things first. first let's talk about god, about his mercy, about his love, about his forgiveness, about his invitation, about his embrace, about his promise for life eternal through his son jesus. you talk about that and then morals, doctrine, that will fall into place. >> but some of the moral debates, this is where there are debates, this is where there is tension. >> sure. >> what is the natural evolution of a change in tone, a change in the packaging of this pope to actual change in church policy on some of these matters? >> yeah, i don't know if that's too new, though. i would say since the time of jesus christ, there has always been tension, difficulty, conflict in the application of the teaching. i mean, i look at my jewish neighbors. they have the torah.
there's the law, pretty clear. the application is always going to bring some debate in conversation. we christians, we catholics have the sermon on the mount. the application, that's where the rubber hits the road. that's where there will always be conversation and a little bit of disagreement. >> what is his effect on american politics, for instance, on some of these issues, be it abortion or gay marriage? what is the impact? >> on politicians or on catholics? >> well, on the public debates, on the political debates in this country around these issues. >> i will tell you this. i would say for committed catholics, and thanks be to god there is a lot of them. i love them, i'm grateful for them this thanksgiving weekend, they would say what pope francis has done is reminded us of the latitude of catholic believes and catholic principles. those who would try to closet us, maybe, and just in what you might call below the belt issues be that gay marriage or abortion
or prostitution. that's important and the teaching on that is unwavering. but pope francis has said wait we forgive, the way we help the poor, the way we reach out to the sick, fort gthe forgotten, on the side of the road, that is as strong an imperative as anything else. >> what about obama care? you have voiced your displeasure with certain aspects of it in terms of man dates for hospitits and so forth. what about the overall goal of it? do you think it will ultimately prevail? would you like it? do you think it's important for the country that universal health care insurance is available? >> yep. and i'm glad you allow me to make that distinction, david. we bishops have really been in a tough place because we're far universal comprehensive life-affirming health care. the bishops of the united states, can you believe it, in 1919 came out for more affordable, more comprehensive,
more universal health care. that's how far back we go in this battle, okay? we're not johnny come latelies. we've been asking for reform in health care for a long time, so we were kind of an early supporter in this. where we were bristling and saying, uh-oh, this is excluding the unborn baby so we began to br bristle at that. and secondly we said, wait a minute, we catholics are kind of among the pros when it comes to providing health care, do it because of the dictates of our conscience, and now we're being asked to violate some of those. that's when we begin to worry and draw back and say, mr. president, please, you're really kind of pushing aside some of your greatest supporters here. we want to be with you, we want to be strong, and if you keep doing this, we're not going to be able to be one of your cheerleaders. that, sadly, is what happened. >> are you disappointed on another debate on immigration,
that it appears that republicans in this case don't see a pathway any longer toward getting this done? >> immigration would be one of those issues that shows that those who try to pigeonhole bishop's pastor's catholics are wrong. on health care we might be upset with the democrats, the administration. on immigration we're saying to the house of representatives, which is dominated by the republicans, you guys got to get your act together. this is the best chance we've had in fair and just immigration reform. it's in your lap and doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and we're not going to let you off the hook. so yeah, we're disappointed there as well. >> let me touch on gay marriage. this week illinois is becoming the 16th state, including d.c., to allow same-sex marriage. do you think this is evolving in such a way that ultimately it will be legal everywhere, or is it the opposite, that there will be a backlash and the status quo will be maintained? >> i would be a pollyanna that
there doesn't seem to be a stance of doing this. sometimes we've been caricatured as being anti-gay, and as much as we say we're pro marriage, we're not anti anybody. i don't know, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion molders that are behind it, it's a tough battle. i do think, though, to get back to your question, david, back in 1973 with roe v. wade, everyone said, this is a fargone conclusion. it's going to be back-burnered. to this day it remains probably the most divisive issue in american politics. if you look at some of the changing attitudes you say, wow. we're beginning to affect the young with the pro-life message. >> you don't think the gay marriage debate is over?
>> no, i don't think it is. >> i think of thanksgiving as i think of the holidays generally as a wonderful opportunity to separate from our lives and to think about gratitude. however, i don't have to tell you how commercial these holidays become and we think more about recipes for the holiday. let me ask you, your eminence. what's your recipe for expressing gratitude? >> by the way, i'm not against recipes. i kind of like them myself. the right recipe is this. i think it comes down to hue millty, which is the key, both the people of the book, jews and christians, would say hue mimil is the key virtue. without god, we're nothing. with god, everything is possible. we realize every breath we take is an unmerited gift from a lavishly loving god, that prompts us literally to fall to our knees and say thank you. it also reminds us we're not the center of the universe. it's not about me, it's about him and his people.
that's gratitude, that's faith, that's humility, that's thanksgiving. >> and there could be -- we laugh about it often, but there could be family pain and dysfunction, but it's an opportunity, again, to separate and say, where is my perspective in my life? >> is it a paradox every year that there is pain at thanksgiving. oh, my god, my family is dysfunctional, but you wouldn't be anywhere else at thanksgiving. you're already looking forward to going back there, and that's the beauty of family and community. >> good to see you. >> you, too, david. happy thanksgiving. when we come back here, the politics of health care and a term we haven't heard in a while, hillary care. david brooks, andrea mitchell,
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no meet the press" is back with our political roundtable. chuck todd, stephanie rawlings-blake, andrea mitchell. >> welcome, stephanie rawlings-blake, mayor of baltimore, first time on "meet the press." mayor since 2010, serves on the national democratic committee as well. nice to have you here. >> nice to be here. >> the question is how good are things, really, and chuck, there
are so many stories about how angry the president is. they want to separate the president from all the problems, but where is the accountability? does someone have to be fired before americans think we're on the right track? >> if this doesn't turn out to be the fix, if this website fix doesn't turn out to work as well as they're promising right now on various conference calls, what they're promising as far as the public is concerned, then i think you would see republican accountability and some demand for action. all of these reports and all of this weekend sort of placement of where the website is at this point, all of it seems irrelevant to me because we haven't had a real test of the system. they say it can handle up to 50,000 at one time. okay, let's see what happens. they're hesitant to market it this week, and they're not going to -- this is a soft launch, this is a beta test. >> it's also the fact of what happens when people actually start enrolling and insurers
start interacting and bills have to be paid when people put claims in? all those larger tests are so far down the road. it seems to me to put out a fact sheet today and say they have 400 bugs fixed, what kind of bugs? big bugs, little bugs? but the bigger question is also going back to how this happened, what is the management inside the white house? how much is the president reaching out to outside advisers? is he only consulting with friends who are his top advisers inside the white house, or is he really getting the best opinion behind the management consultant trying to fix this. >> here's something put out in the "washington post" by dan balz. by almost any measure, this has been a lost year for obama on the domestic front. the flawed rollout of the health care law, the most important initiative of his tenure, has been a huge setback. >> i think that's a bit of an
overstatement. a lost year? focusing on trying to get more people affordable health care? at the end of the day, everyone knows, we can all agree the rollout could have been, should have been better. but underneath all that is democrats and the president trying to make sure the people have health care. that is the side that we should be on, not this sort of is it right, is it wrong, should he be mad about it, should he not be mad about it? this is about making sure people can live. >> can government be nimble, can government learn from its mistakes? i would say the website is just a small symptom. government slik an offensive lineman. it can do blocking, it can create order. when you ask the government to be a wide receiver, you're asking them to do things they can't do. republicans win elections when the government asks them to do things they can't do.
>> page three of the report it says here, the team is reacting with high pressure velocity and effectiveness. that's an acknowledgment that, you know what, this was a government operation for a long time and it failed. now we're bringing in the private sector folks. that is an indictment on the whole idea of government as a solution, frankly, when you look at this. >> and the president as a manager, and people around him who can get the bureaucracy to move in a particular direction, which is not easy, but this is your point on how nimble government is. >> the challenge is i think the goals are laudible, mayor, and it's something the president articulated brilliantly as an election and reelection mantra. but this is a tough bet, and he had a responsibility to make sure the rollout was not this disastrous in order to achieve these goals. because now they're at risk of losing the credibility of government as an agent of change. >> republicans are insist he en
relentless pursuit of failure. we have democrats, we have republicans, nobody is rooting against each other. we know that when cities succeed, the country succeeds. in congress, we have people that are standing on the sidelines rooting for failure. we know the rollout was botched. but democrats are focused on trying to build and trying to fix it. >> i'm just saying the president gave his opponents, and you can certainly make the argument that he has had this monolithic republican opposition in congress, and that's a good and valid excuse. but he gave them a weapon against him. >> you're conservative about saying, look, you have a big idea. you have to execute. >> people said that about iraq, too, so we've had a couple execution failures. i asked president obama, what did you learn being president that you haven't learned before?
he said there is a passive government. government can do things really well, social security, move checks here and there really well. this sort of nimbleness, this is a lot tougher. adjustment to failure, a lot tougher. it doesn't mean you're hating government all the time, but there are a lot of roles. >> i've been studying america and the enlightened period of the individual liberty as a real source of the government experience, and yet in more modern times that government should, as you were saying, mayor, play a role to do good, to use its power to actually fix big societal problems, but we do have this in conflict because the goal to do good to a lot of people feels like telling them what to do. >> that's right. there's always been this retrenchment of collectiveness on one hand, and especially you're bringing up the early period. you know, this country was
divided. sort of the northern part you had the initial settlers were okay with collectivism, but the folks that integrated and migrated to the south weren't that way. health care is just the icing on the cake. where is immigration? his push for guns? rebuilding trust in government? there were all these things that he thought in the second term, this his election to validation of a second term was going to do, and it's not just a lost year, it's a setback. >> here's another aspect of it. we look ahead to 2016. hillary clinton and health care. we've done some checking on this and hear republicans talking a lot about hillary clinton in this context. listen. >> if you like your plan, you can keep it? that was not accidental. that was following the lessons from the fight over hillary care. what took hillary care down is that people realized, holy cow, i might lose my health insurance, i might lose my
doctor. >> who ever thought this was going to work? but i have to tell you, this is really hillary care. >> we can't forget she was the original author of hillary care back in, i believe, 1983, and that would have been a disaster as well. >> i would think they would be a little more artful. the leading candidate is clearly obvious. i don't think it shows them being agile in putting forth what they would do, because they have offered nothing. >> they're sticking to the playbook. they've tried 50 times to repeal it, and for what? we know the system is broken. what's the fix? >> the republican really messed up with the government shutdown, we have the obama website. suicide will be a concern next. we'll see. >> what the government worries about in terms of the website, if we're talking about this in the same way come january, then all of a sudden, the candidates out there, a lot of democrats
have taken tough votes. they'll be hard pressed to go out there and do the same thing. >> this is republicans hoping that if she say hillary care, she'll step in. they almost want to divide the party. >> coming up, the roundtable is going to be coming back. as we give thanks this holiday weekend, harry smith will have the pointed story of the victim of the we use this board to compare car insurance rates side-by-side, so you get the same coverage, . that's one smart board -- what else does it do, reverse gravity? [ laughs ] split atoms? [ flo chuckles ] [ whirring ] hey, how's that atom-splitting thing going? oh! a smarter way to shop around -- now that's progressive. call or click today. the united states population is going to grow by over 90 ovemillion people,ears and almost all that growth is going to be in cities.
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and we are back. the words boston strong are now synonymous with the april terror bombing that shook that city. for some those words now mean a lifelong mission to overcome wounds that might never completely heal. on this thanksgiving weekend, our harry smith has an amazing story of a victim that represents the true theory of boston strong. >> mary daniels is determined. she is going to climb the hill no matter what. it will take this american tourist the better part of an hour. >> it was a big hill, and i had to climb the hill, and that was the only way i would have the full view of vienna and have hot chocolate. this is so beautiful. >> you wanted to climb to the top. why did you want to walk all the way up that hill? >> symbolically, for me climbing the hill means a lot to me.
it's almost similar to what i'm going through right now, and facing the hill to me meant facing my own challenges. >> last spring mary was near the finish line of the boston marathon, a favorite day in the city she loves. >> this energy of happiness and togetherness, i wanted to be there. i wanted to be part of that. >> reporter: she would awaken days later in the hospital to learn she had lost her left leg. doctors were doing all they could to save the right one. yet she had no anger, no self-pit self-pity. >> i'm very thankful and grateful. but i'm also grateful for life to be able to even see this thanksgiving. i came close to dying, and that is something to celebrate. >> reporter: we wanted to tell mary's story this thanksgiving because mary herself is a kind of modern day pilgrim. she came to america from haiti, a teenager who couldn't speak a word of english. >> in the u.s. you're offered a lot of opportunities, and if you
work at it, if you apply yourself, you can actually achieve whatever you want to achieve. >> reporter: she studied bio chemistry at umass, got her medical dreegree in europe and became a u.s. citizen. >> i can dare to believe, dare to dream, dare to disagree and dare to be whatever i want to be. >> reporter: do you still believe that? >> yes. >> reporter: mary is the person we wish we were more like, undeterred even by the biggest obstacles. >> there are challenges we have to face and overcome. it might be losing a limb for me, it might be something else for someone else. >> reporter: and you feel like what happened to you is no different from any other challenge any of the rest of us face on any given day? >> yeah, that's what i feel. >> reporter: positive but not pollyanna-ish. maybe you could call it old-fashioned american optimism. >> my first step was very
phenomenal. i was so happy when i took my first step. >> reporter: and then the second? >> and now i don't know how many. it's easier uphill. >> reporter: an optimism forged from a life where nothing was taken for granted, an immigrant's life. does some of it have to do with where you came from? >> i think so, and i think it could be part of my culture that prepared me for this. >> reporter: you see a lot of people who could be really despairing, right? >> yes. but they're smiling. >> reporter: mary, in case you're wondering, did get her cup of hot chocolate atop that hill in vienna. she told us she expects to complete her medical boards in a year or so. we have no doubts. then she said she's headed to colorado next month to learn how to ski. happy thanksgiving. >> thank you. happy thanksgiving to you, too. >> i love that. the boston herald wrote about
the courage of the survivors of boston. the eloquence of some of these survivors, i think, is what had a huge impact. >> that story sin kris incredib inspiring. what gratitude we have to her. >> we have so many people who are maimed and get that idea that they're humbled by the fact they're still alive. >> their strength is amazing. you see them and you ask yourself, if it were me, would i have it in me to be that strong and to look at it as an opportunity to live differently, to change. >> great story. we're going to come back with our roundtable. we'll talk a little about foreign policy, the challenges facing the u.s. overseas at the moment. iran, afghanistan just this
here now, some of this week's images to remember. i did love the guy on twitter pour me coffee who wrote, good job today, sports. >> i'm still shell shocked. >> we're not talking about any more reports because we're running out of time. but you're here with first read sunday. a lot to look forward to in the week ahead. surely they can get a budget deal with everything going so well on health care. >> on december 13, house
republican paul ryan when it comes to the budget, nancy pelosi, they have to come up with a top line number that they're agreeing to saying in order to avoid a shutdown in january. remember, we ran out of funding in january, so december 13 is when they have to come up with this line, and i don't want to get into sequester and all these issues, but it has come to just this very small agreement. i think they will. democrats have a little leverage here, david, because republicans don't want the story to get away from health care, so democrats could use that to get a little more of their way. >> as we get into 2014, the election year, do the republicans have a shot in the senate? >> i think they door, but there one more big retirement we're looking at, thad from mississippi. are there some democrats that just don't like it in the senate? you always hear mark wariner
doesn't like it. there's no sign he's going to retire. does lindsey graham get all these challenges from the right? that is the decision we're trying to find out. the big takeaway, no matter what happens in 2014, the senate is getting more conservative, period. >> we'll get into a discussion on foreign policy, starting with this healafghanistan deadline. >> karzai won't sign this deal. susan rice went over to save it and she couldn't save it with the president. they're saying, what's going on? i thought you agreed to this whole deal. does the president himself have to get this done? they can't seem it get this done by the end of the year. >> here and reporting over the weekend, president rouhani in iran saying, we're going to enrich uranium. is there any reason to think that iran gives up its nuclear
option? >> no. iran is now cementing that. rouhani went on an interview with the sentinel times, and this is creating big problems with iran's neighbors. they all gave up their right to enrich and the saudis already paid for a nuclear program. pakistan, all they have to do is call that debt in and say, send it over. proliferation is a real threat, but the question from the white house is, what are the options? >> isn't it a question, too, about who gets to decide about israel having its own nuclear capacity? does the united states have the ability to direct that? >> no, but our policy should be those who have it should keep it and those who don't shouldn't get it. that's the root of stability in the middle east and we're losing that. the problem with iran is it's not like negotiating with the soviets in the '80ls. the iranians still believe in the resolution. they still have that religious ferv fervor. that's why it's dangerous.
they have religious fervor combined with nuclear weapons. it's just bad. >> you've got issues like afghanistan, but principally iran, that could become an even larger issue here in his second term, the president's second term, that could crowd out these other issues. does it concern you? >> it really doesn't concern me, because underneath all that, americans are war weary. i think it was very clear in 2008, 2012. people want other options on the table. so, you know, what is your other option? you have to come up with something else because there is no tolerance for us to enter into another war. >> what about what's happening with china? give me a brief primer on that. the president is talking about a pivot to asia and now you have china not so comfortable with that, flexing its muscles in east china. >> there is threatening. china declaring ownership over these uninhabited islands. it's a direct challenge to japan. the u.s. says it will stand by
japan. the vice president is going to tokyo on a previously planned trip arriving tomorrow and then on to china. we stand with japan, we're sending our b-52s but we're warning commercial aviation to stay out of that zone without properly warning the chinese. we don't want to recognize china's unilateral demand that it owns this disputed territory, and a confrontation could ensue. >> china will assert its importance, yet diplomatically, militarily, even perhaps economically in 2014, it may not be the u.s.' equal on these questions. >> it's really a psychological problem. china is an extreme inferiority complex. it's like a lot of people in washington, actually. how do you deal with someone like that? my view is you just embrace them and keep them in the order. a constant embrace. >> we're going to leave it there. thank you all for the discussion today. appreciate it very much. that is it for us today. we'll be back next week, in new
york next week. if it's sunday it's "meet the press." oh my god. >> where is your clothes at? don't move. stay in the seat until i get your clothes. >> they go hand in glove. sex for sale and drug addiction. >> we arrest hundreds and hundreds of girls involved in prostitution. >> get your clothes on. >> i'd say only a handful are the ones not involved with any kind of narcotic. >> did you find the heroin? >> yeah. >> all across america, more and more women are turning to drugs like crack and heroin to kill the pain that comes with being bought and sold. msnbc goes undercover with michigan's human trafficking task force. >> hey, are you taping me? >> for a sobering look at the overwhelming power of drug